03 September 2012

The Setting Sun, and the Dawn of a New Era

by Bill McMurdo | CRO contributor | @williammcmurdo |

The decision by The Sun to pull the scheduled serialisation of arch Rangers-hater Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s spiteful book on the Rangers crisis is not only a victory for decency but it also heralds a new era in Scottish society.

The Sun is a newspaper in Rupert Murdoch’s stable and Murdoch is much more used to shaping popular thinking than being shaped by it.

Murdoch’s agenda to turn Scotland into a bitter wee republic on the outside of both Britain and the wider global neighbourhood has meant that the people of Scotland have been molded into a cloned copy of his British-hating self.

This agenda necessitates the transforming of Rangers and their fan base into cultural pariahs, reviled and despised for their ridiculously old-fashioned loyalty to Queen and country.

For way too long, Rangers supporters sucked such disrespect and abuse up, preferring to retreat into their traditional manly stoicism and just let the team get on with the business of humping all opposition on the pitch.

Then the collapse of David Murray’s empire and the Craig Whyte fiasco happened.

Rangers were left lying bleeding in the ditch as enemy after enemy lined up to take savage kicks at the club.

The years of anti-Rangers propaganda eventually created a culture of Rangers-hating that is endemic in Scottish society. Being a Rangers supporter became something socially undesirable and offensive, so effective was the relentless stream of propaganda directed at all things RFC.

But recently it has all changed.

The turnaround at Ibrox since Charles Green took control of the club, coupled with the indestructible spirit shown by Ally McCoist, have  galvanised Rangers fans into a rampant fighting force once more.

Rangers fans are no longer taking a kicking, so to speak, they are looking to dish one out. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The Fightback has well and truly begun.

Rangers fans are becoming more and more media savvy and wakening to the enormous power of their collective economic punch.

In a nutshell, people and organisations that dis Rangers are starting to fear the devastating consequences of a boycott by the club’s increasingly-militant support.

Rangers won’t take anything lying down ever again.

No newspaper likes to get egg on its face or be seen to have to back down in the face of public opinion.

But in a few short hours the wrath of Rangers fans has forced just such a climb-down upon The Sun.

Now it won’t stop Rupert Murdoch’ s plotting and scheming to turn Scotland into his personal fiefdom. But it will make him think again before doing something that incurs the outrage of the large constituency of bluenoses.

But, great victory though it is, it should not lull Rangers fans into a false sense of feeling the war is over.

Whilst it is likely that The Sun won’t be the last media outlet to feel the fury of a revived Rangers support, it is very likely that there will be more and more such battles to be engaged in.

There will be a feeling that Rangers and their troublesome fans need to be put back in their box.

You can expect the fight to get very dirty from here on in.

The fight is not just about the football, just like Rangers is not just about the football.

Maybe that’s what old Shankly was getting at...